My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had picked up The Reader from the closing of a Borders Express near my work place. I only knew of it from the movie, which I never saw and only really heard of when it had gathered its numerous awards. When I began to read the book a couple of weeks ago, I was immediately drawn in.
It’s a short novel, but successfully takes the reader through so much time and memory from the protagonist Michael Berg’s life, and also through the history of a post-Holocaust Germany (and at-large the world). Berg’s relationship with Hanna is intense and haunting, pulling the reader into the midst of the struggle of moving forward in life while being drawn to past memories.
I found myself admiring so much of how well the book captured memory and retrospect. As I had noted on Twitter/Facebook, it truly moved the part of me that is a writer – the one that pauses to think “Damn, that’s a good sentence”. This book made me pause often with that thought.
This passage reflects the story well:
What a sad story, I thought for so long. But I think it is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever.